Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

A Homemade Escher’s Waterfall

A representation of an impossible scene, Escher’s Waterfall has just been made real, at least on Youtube.

What do you think? I first thought it could be a very clever perspective trick, such as the Escher for Real series or the ball rolling uphill illusion.

But on watching the video in higher resolution, the shadows and reflections, I suspect it is yet another damn good CGI job. Damn good.

Speaking of which, the Jonathan Post video has been solved, it was the superb work by a pair of Brazilians, Luis Carone and Daniel Dias. CGI work, that is.

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8 Comments so far

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephanie Fernandes, FoxArtCultTech. FoxArtCultTech said: A Homemade Escher’s Waterfall http://goo.gl/fb/hGqIS […]

  2. Frank February 16th, 2011 10:46 pm

    I believe that this is a mixture of forced perspective and CG. Personally I believe that the majority of the CG work is focused on the water “dropping” onto the wheel – but I personally believe that the structure is real, built as a forced perspective device which fills with liquid; and that perhaps the wheel is motor controlled.

  3. Frank February 16th, 2011 11:03 pm

    I revise my statement: I believe this to be 100% optical illusion. There are certain things which just don’t add up, which would take too long to explain. But I believe that 99% of the track is laid flat on the ground, with the remaining 1% built into the larger tower right above the wheel. I believe there to be a pump in the housing beneath the wheel, which drains from the end of the track and pumps up the tower to that last %1 of the track, down to the wheel, etc. Two things immediately catch my eye to possibly support this: First there is some type of bright “spot” on the top of the track in the large tower which has no business being there. Second, the two towers have sort of a lean. Following the the support (for each tower) where the lean is most outwardly pronounced (in both cases – towards the track) you can see an unnatural looking split. Both of these observations would be consistent with forced perspective.

  4. Pat February 17th, 2011 7:07 am

    I could be mistaken of course, but shouldn’t this model cast a shadow in the same direction as the guy, i.e. towards the right, not just towards the left?

    So this could point to both forced perspective or cgi.

  5. tomatosoup February 19th, 2011 4:10 pm

    The water doesn’t look right. I call CGI at least for it. The whole video has a “processed” vibe.

  6. Ian February 21st, 2011 8:31 pm

    I concur with the force perspective + CG.

  7. Frank March 7th, 2011 3:16 pm


    Scroll down to see what appears to be a ceramic version of Escher’s waterfall, complete with an avi of a CAD demonstration of its layout. It is therefore not inconceivable that no CGI was used on the physical device (though the water may be CGI, but I still hold out that pumps were used)

  8. Frank May 11th, 2011 2:25 pm

    Turns out it is 100% real, but a composite of 3 videos. http://www.youtube.com/user/mcwolles He finally posted more videos of how it is built and how he made the water go. No CG guys, sorry.

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